October 2005

It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber

furry

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Who is playing golf?

by Volker Weber

Looks like tennis is more fun.

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Best of Workplace

by Volker Weber

Hello Volker,

I am e-mailing you on behalf of the World Wide Channels and Alliances Team for Lotus Software to invite you to participate as a judge for the 12th Annual Lotus Awards. The Lotus Awards are presented annually to recognize IBM Business Partners specializing in Lotus software that are at the leading edge of the software industry and have delivered outstanding products, solutions and services to customers, during the previous year.

The Best in Lotusphere Showcase is one of the major awards at Lotusphere and we would be honored if you could serve as a judge.

If you want to send me buckets of small unmarked bills, the address is to your right. ;-)

I cannot speak about the process at Lotusphere yet. However, the trouble with these evaluations is that they come pre-hunted. The judges don't get to see all solutions and then pick the best. In order to save the judges valuable time, they usually only get to see a small fraction of what is on display. How is this selection made? The invitation gives us a hint:

The Best in Lotusphere Showcase category recognizes an innovative solution that leverages the latest cutting-edge Lotus technology to demonstrate a unique and powerful on-demand solution. Final evaluation takes place at the Lotusphere Showcase in Orlando. Particular consideration will be given to those solutions that utilize IBM Lotus Workplace software and especially the new IBM Workplace Client.

You may not be seeing a Best in Lotusphere Showcase solution based on Domino then. Hrrmph, Domino is part of Workplace. I forgot.

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Bouncy balls

by Volker Weber

bouncy balls

Remember the bouncy balls? Here is why they did it.

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Wer klaut sowas?

by Volker Weber

Mein wagen wurden in der nacht am 20.10.2005 in Horstmar kreis Steinfurt gestohlen worden. Ich bitte jeden herzlich mir hälfen mein Wage wieder zufinden. ich zahle 1000,- Euro an den der mein Wagen findet. Sie haben hier ehrenhaft mein Wort dass sie das Geld bekommen.

Bitte stehlen sie sich vor dass das ihrer Wagen gestohlen ist. Versuchen sie sich in meine Situation zu versetzen. Mein Wagen ist mir viel Wert, das wegen gebe ich dem den ihm findet 1000,- bar auf die Hand.

Ich weiß dass jeder 1000,- Euro gut gebrauchen kann.Bitte keine Spaß oder irgendwelche blöde Anrufe, jeder Anruf der bei mir mit Hinweis ankommt, wird von der Polizei überprüfen.

Sollte die anzeige Der sehen den mein Wagen hat, sage ich nur: Du wirst damit nicht Glücklich und ich werde dich finden.

Meine Damen und Herren Die Jagdsehsohn ist eröffnet. ich wünsche viel Glück und bedanke mich jetzt schon.

Erst die Automarke raten, dann klicken.

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Nachts um zwei auf der Autobahn

by Volker Weber

Was macht man nachts auf einer vierspurigen Autobahn ohne Verkehr? Laufen lassen. Und sich freuen, wenn das Auto trotz breiterer Reifen nach 8 Jahren und vielen Kilometern immer noch 2 km/h über Spec läuft (gemessen mit TomTom und GPS). Der Tacho lügt natürlich noch mal 5 km/h oben drauf.

Wenn jetzt der untere Querlenker vorne rechts noch aufhören würde wie ein altes Gartentor zu quietschen, dann wäre die Freude noch größer.

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Need suggestions for Florida

by Volker Weber

coconuts resort

Last year we found this nice place on Anna Maria Island, south of the Tampa Bay. We were quite lucky to get a one-bedroom-apartment there, since they were booked solid with snowbirds. This year they don't seem to have a slot free so we are looking for a new spot.

We have also been to Sanibel, but that has been a lot more expensive, and it was a longer ride from Orlando. We have never been to anything north of the Tampa Bay, and I was wondering whether anybody has suggestions?

Here is what we are looking for: One bedroom, kitchenette, living room, balcony overlooking the Gulf, possibly in a small resort. Our last place had 24 units and that is a good size. We would need this in the 3rd week of January. If it is your own condo, don't hesitate to contact us. We are good guests and leave the place at least as good as it was when we arrived.

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In the pipeline

by Volker Weber

I ordered a very unlikely Nikkor lens today. I wanted a small prime lens which gives me perfect control over depth of field, being able to step all the way from f1.8 to f22. I did not go for the more expensive 1.4 lens, since I don't know yet how often I will use it.

I also decided that I will be perfectly fine with the SB-600 flash. Ken has explained nicely how you can use the D70 in wireless commander mode with a detached SB-600.

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Site news

by Volker Weber

I added a few more links to the site. Every individual archive now contains a list of the last 25 comments (try here). Don't worry, this list only exists once, but you get hundreds of backlinks from my individual pages.

Each individual comment now also has a permalink under its time stamp. You now can refer to any individual comment by URL (try here). The named anchors existed before but were only used in the Comments RSS Feed.

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Kids, don't try this at home

by Volker Weber

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I will do needful

by Volker Weber

You have to read this Indian techie flamewar.

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Math test

by Volker Weber

[via Alex]

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Lowest bid wins

by Volker Weber

builder

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Darf's auch etwas mehr sein?

by Volker Weber

Ich kaufe lieber beim lokalen Einzelhandel als im Internet. Als ich nun ein Nokia LCH-12 Ladekabel brauchte, bin ich halt kurz in die Stadt geradelt. Im Nokia City Shop freute sich ein Verkäufer über den einzigen Kunden weit und breit. "Ja, haben wir da. 25 Euro macht das bitte." Das erschien mir dann doch etwas viel. Einmal quer durch's Carree gelaufen. 8,99 €. Ebenfalls Original Nokia. Manche Einzelhändler machen's einem echt schwer.

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What a lens

by Volker Weber

Engadget has some photos of the soon to be released Nikon D200. Look at the second picture. Do you see it? A Nikon 18-200mm VR compact zoom lens.

I want one. ;-)

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It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber

sneaky

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Import photos from D70 without blowing up iPhoto

by Volker Weber

Ole has now published the Automator Workflow on his site:

iPhoto 5 creates huge libraries when you import pictures from certain cameras (e.g. Nikon D70). Eric Lindsay has an extensive description of this bug. This bug has been submitted to Apple's Bug Reporter with #4308599 on 2005-10-20.

More >

We are referring to the D70 because that is the camera we use. But others have the same problem. The Pentax *ist D and Pentax Optio MX4 are twice as bad and Pentax Optio S is just as affected as the D70. Try exifcleaner to see, how big your Maker Notes are.

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Newer isn't always better

by Volker Weber

Where do you go, if you need an older version of the software you just upgraded and you don't have the original archive anymore? You go to OldVersion.com. :-)

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Choices

by Volker Weber

What can you do when your customer requires his documents to be in a certain format? You build a filter that opens and saves documents in the requested format. If you don't want to do that you can still turn to the Don Corleone School Of Business:

Microsoft has picked up support from two powerful Massachusetts politicians for its stance on “open format” documents. The politicians are opposing an effort by the state’s administration, which last month approved a plan to require that state documents be formatted in OpenDocument format.

More >

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How to repurpose VMware machines

by Volker Weber

Last week VMware released a free player that lets you use existing VMware machines but not build new ones. It did not take long until somebody found out how you can install a completely different operating system into an existing VWware machine. Which is almost the same thing as building a new one.

More >

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Kann mir jemand ein Sound Device leihen?

by Volker Weber

transit

Mein M-Audio Transit macht Mucken. Es schaltet sich manchmal unvorhersehbar ab. Nicht gut für eine Party, wenn plötzlich die Musik ausgeht. :-) Hat jemand ein externes Soundgerät für mich, das (a) mit dem Mac läuft, (b) vielleicht gar auf Core Audio ohne eigene Treiber aufsetzt und (c) für 14 Tage abkömmlich ist? Anschluss am Mac mit Firewire oder USB, mindestens zwei Kanäle, idealerweise Cinch. S/PDIF nützt mir nichts. Darf auch gerne "schwereres" Gerät sein wie ein Audiophile USB, ein Firewire Audiophile oder ein Firewire 410 sein. Oder was von anderen Herstellern. Nur halt eben keinen Sound-Belaster 5.1. :-)

Update: Karsten hat das Problem gelöst. Ich habe jetzt leihweise zwei USB-Geräte, die beide mit 48 kHz samplen. Damit kann ich entweder auf einen externen Mixer gehen, oder den internen verwenden und zwei Kanäle auf Main Out und zwei Kanäle auf Cue legen. Nice!

Noch ein Update: Schön wär's gewesen. Jetzt macht der Traktor Probleme. Sound device auswählen. Boom. Apple muss bei Core Audio was verändert haben, was Traktor gar nicht schmeckt. Aber die Optionen sind noch nicht beendet. Thomas hat noch ein Edirol UA-20 und eine Hercules Console. Und dann könnte ich noch Panther auf einer externen Disk installieren.

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The Animated GIF strikes back

by Volker Weber

Star Wars Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back) animated in 1007 GIF frames.

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Update your Skype installation today

by Volker Weber

Skype has published a security bulletin explaining a number of vulnerabilities in all but the latest Skype clients. You are strongly advised to update today.

The Mac client is now at version 1.3.0.17. In version .14 it learned to support the Skype buttons. You can also do simple things like <a href="skype:volker.weber?add">.

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Weird news of the day

by Volker Weber

A Melbourne council has explained how one of its parking officers issued a fine to a man who had been dead in his parked car for several days. Maroondah City Council parking officers stuck the fine on the windscreen of the man's car on Wednesday at the Croydon Market shopping centre in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs. A police spokeswoman confirmed that police discovered the deceased man, 71, yesterday and found a parking ticket on the windscreen of his car. He had been reported missing to police nine days ago and was known to be seriously ill. Maroondah mayor Paul Denham said in a statement today that the parking officer had not noticed the man when he attached the parking fine to the windscreen.

More >

[Thanks, Mitch]

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From the "Ole is not too stupid for this" department

by Volker Weber

Ole Saalmann took me to task on the Automator rant. He wrote an elaborate workflow which was designed exactly as I had imagined. However it turned out that it did not really work. Photos where imported into the ~/Pictures folder and not into the appropriate directories within the iPhoto Library tree. I fooled around with moving the files to my temporary directory, then fixing them with exifcleaner, importing them to iPhoto and then removing the files from the temporary folder. But this also did not work. The library only had zero kb files and thumbnails in iPhoto. Ole gave it another go, but it only worked when he removed exifcleaner, which was the only reason to build this workflow in the first place.

It was also possible to import pictures that where already on the computer and did not have to be imported from the camera. But that was again not the original idea. Today Ole took the detour with AppleScript. The only original Automator action is the download from the camera via Image Capture (Digitale Bilder). I now have saved the workflow as an application and told Image Capture to call it when a camera is connected. Works like a charm.

However, this completely defies the original idea that it would be easy to slap together this workflow with Automator. But we don't want to to give up. Maybe you can come up with a working solution that does not rely on AppleScript. This workflow assumes you have a perl script called exifcleaner.pl in a subdirectory called bin inside your home folder (~/bin/exifcleaner.pl).

Update: Pascal Behrend recreated exactly the same workflow that did not work well for us. I make it also available for testing purposes. The not so funny thing is: This workflow works most of the times. Not all of the times though. Since we don't delete pictures from the camera, it can happen that it hits the duplicates dialog. Depending on whether you had deleted the last imported pictures from iPhoto or not, this happened sometimes while testing. Another side effect is that the workflow does not clean out the temporary folder before starting. If it still exists because an old workflow stalled, you get more side effects. Again I started to see imported pictures in ~/Pictures and zero kb pictures in iPhoto Library.

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When a mirror is not a mirror

by Volker Weber

Turn back the clock two years and imagine you want to run a web server for your small company, hosted in your ISP's datacenter. You go and buy a DELL Poweredge pizza box, complete with two IDE drives. You install Windows on disk 1, make two partitions for system and data and then you tell Windows to mirror disk 1 to disk 2. Just in case one of the disks fails later on. What you don't know yet is that IBM IC35L020AVER07 disks are not what you want in your server.

Fast forward to Oct 23, 2005. Disk 1 dies. Server crashes. You buy two new disks, just because the other disk is also two years old now. Disks are cheap and server uptime is more important then saving a few bucks. What is the plan? You remove disk 1 and boot from disk 2. This is a mirror of disk 1, right?

Wrong.

Disk 1 has a MBR, one DELL service partition and two partitions you built: system and data. However, you find out that disk 2 only has three partitions. All of them "dynamic volumes". There is no boot record, so the disk won't boot at all. What Microsoft is not telling you:

Keep in mind that you cannot boot to a drive that contains only dynamic volumes. If you mirror your system drive, be sure to partition the drive first and then delete the partition and mirror it. This creates a bootable partition in the MBR.

Nobody told you this. Windows conveniently built a mirror that won't work. Neat, eh?

The trouble does not stop here. You create a BartPE disk, a live Windows Boot CD, admin's best friend. But you won't be able to see disk 2 when disk 1 is not present. You first have to use Diskpart to break the mirror. This ain't easy since Diskpart insists on seeing the other disk. Would you dare to break the mirror before having saved the most valuable data from the disk?

Well, normally you would just ignore Windows, whip out your handy Linux boot disk and mount the NTFS drives to get to the data. Not with dynamic volumes though:

If a partition table entry of type 0x42 is present in the legacy partition table, then W2K ignores the legacy partition table and uses a proprietary partition table and a proprietary partitioning scheme (LDM or DDM). As the Microsoft KnowledgeBase writes: Pure dynamic disks (those not containing any hard-linked partitions) have only a single partition table entry (type 42) to define the entire disk. Dynamic disks store their volume configuration in a database located in a 1-MB private region at the end of each dynamic disk.

Tune in tomorrow when the story continues.

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Autumn in Darmstadt

by Volker Weber

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Hours of fun

by Volker Weber

If you need an excuse to treat yourself to a new iMac, look at these pictures. Hours of fun for the kids. And not only for the kids.

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From the "I am too stupid for this" department

by Volker Weber

Automator is one of those great promises of Mac OS X Tiger which never worked for me. In theory, everybody should be able to plug a few actions together to automate repeating chores. But I am too stupid for this.

Let me give you a sample workflow that should kick in once I connect my camera:

  1. Create temporary folder
  2. Copy all photos from camera to folder
  3. Open a bash shell
  4. cd to the temporary folder
  5. Run perl script ~/bin/exifcleaner.pl with parameter -p
  6. Import photos into iPhoto
  7. Remove photos and temporary folder

Copying from the camera is too hard? OK, assume the photos are already in the folder.

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Mostly black

by Volker Weber

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What's next for Apple?

by Volker Weber

CUPERTINO, CALIF. (Imaginary News Service)—After holding two press events in as many weeks to introduce the video iPod, refurbished iMac, dual-core Power Mac, and Aperture image-editing software, Apple announced it was not scheduling a special event next week to unveil new products. An invitation sent out to the press by Apple displays the words, "We Got Nothin'" on top of a picture of a shrugging Steve Jobs.

I don't want to give too much away. You have to read the whole story. It gets very funny towards the end.

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Nix gehe ohne Stutzpunktwissen

by Volker Weber

Italian SoftWare Group Inc., sucht die Beamten aus Deutschland im Alter 21 und alter. Wir geben Ihnen die Chance, das reale Geld ohne spezielle Fertigkeiten, der Hochschulbildung oder der Investitionen zu verdienen. Sie brauchen Personalcomputer, das Internet und e-mail. Es bin das Stutzpunktwissen der englischen Sprache auch notwendig! Mit besten Wunsche, Sergio Cinzano
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Microsoft: We Share Your Pain

by Volker Weber

[Thanks, Bob]

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VMware Player

by Volker Weber

VMware Player is free software that enables PC users to easily run any virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC. VMware Player runs virtual machines created by VMware Workstation, GSX Server or ESX Server and also supports Microsoft virtual machines and Symantec LiveState Recovery disk formats.

You can get pre-configured virtual machines to evaluate software like IBM Workplace Services Express, Oracle Database 10g, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Novell Linux Desktop. The most interesting one may be the browser appliance:

The Browser Appliance enables you to safely browse the Internet from within a VMware virtual machine -- protecting your host PC from spyware and malware.

More >

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OpenOffice 2.0 released

by Volker Weber

Beginning with version 2.0 OpenOffice.org uses the open standard OASIS OpenDocument XML format as the default file format. The OASIS OpenDocument format is a vendor and implementation independent file format, and thus guarantees freedom and independence. In addition to OpenOffice.org itself, the open source office suite KOffice as well as OpenOffice.org derivatives like the StarOffice software support the OASIS OpenDocument file format. The OASIS OpenDocument file format is also one of the file formats recommended by the European Commission.

I wish Microsoft would join and (a) provide file filters for OpenDocument and (b) make it selectable as the default. People could collaborate around a unified file format, and vendors would only compete on implementation. In this scenario Microsoft would look like a much better option than today. I have Word on my Mac, but some of the people I work with, don't want .DOC files. Give me OpenDocument and we will be talking the same dialect.

More >

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Innovation

by Volker Weber

Isn't it amazing at which speed Apple is releasing new products lately?

I think both the new iMac and the 15" PowerBook are quite tempting. Aperture sure looks nice but does not fit my bill. If Apple would fix iPhoto, I'd be fine.

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Trouble with iPhoto

by Volker Weber

There is a lot of speculation about what Apple might be announcing tonight. I don't want to join in. But I sure hope that Apple does something about iPhoto. Ever since I got the D70, iPhoto has become unusable. It takes minutes to load and bogs the whole system down. I don't know what it is. It may be the size of the photos, it may be the auto-rotation of portrait formats. When I delete the Thumb*data files from the iPhoto Library directory, things improve:

-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe    2397857 Sep 14 20:09 AlbumData.xml
-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe      16929 Oct  3 02:08 Dir.data
-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe    1159240 Dec 26  2003 Library.data
-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe  105951994 Oct  3 02:08 Library.iPhoto
-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe   12038144 Oct  3 02:03 Thumb32.data
-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe   47992832 Oct  3 02:03 Thumb64.data
-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe   24023040 Oct  3 02:03 ThumbJPG.data

But it is again going downhill from there. Does anyone have a clue what is wrong? Also: How can you join iPhoto libraries?

Update: Thanks to Ole, who spotted the root cause for the problem, I have a workaround. iPhoto keeps a copy of the EXIF header for each and every photo inside the Library.iPhoto file. A number of cameras, amongst them the D70, have a very large Maker Note inside the EXIF header.

I exported the photos of my 2005 library, removed the Maker Notes with exifcleaner and then reimported into a new library. This one now loads in seconds instead of minutes. The library file went from 100 meg to 5.

-rw-r--r--    1 vowe  vowe   5645068 Oct 20 03:34 Library.iPhoto

From now on I will have to cleanse the photos before importing them into iPhoto. Let's hope that Apple does something about this problem.

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Travel plans

by Volker Weber

Lots of travel ahead. And for the first time I am making some long term plans. I am sure this won't be all, but at least I can fix these events:

DNUG Konferenz November 15-16 in Nürnberg

I am already looking forward to this event. Bob Balaban and Peter O'Kelly will be speaking. Ed is passing this time since he is already tied up elsewhere with ND7 lunch events (pun intended).

Lotusphere 2006 January 21-26 in Orlando

Just booked my travel. This is the earliest Lotusphere travel reservation I have ever done. The trip will complete an uninterrupted 10 year series of travelling to Orlando in the middle of winter. A much welcome break from nasty weather in Europe. It does indeed get colder afterwards, but it is less than six weeks until CeBIT which marks the end of winter. Now for the rest in German:

Lotusphere Nachlese 2006 February 15-16 in München

Wie schon dieses Jahr werde ich auch nächstes Jahr wieder die edcom-Veranstaltung in München moderieren. Der diesjährige Event hat mir ausserordentlich gut gefallen und ich hoffe, dass der nächste mindestens genauso gut wird. Bis Ende des Monats gewährt edcom noch einen Frühbucherrabatt. Wer sich fragt, ob er da hin will, entscheidet sich besser schnell. Diese Veranstaltung wird genau eine Woche später in Wien wiederholt.

Lotusphere Nachlese 2006 February 22-23 in Wien

Auch nächstes Jahr gab es direkt im Anschluss an die edcom-Veranstaltung noch eine bei Notes Consulting in Wien, an der ich dieses Jahr nicht teilgenommen habe. Im Prinzip zieht der ganze Tross von München nach Wien und hält die gleichen Vorträge noch einmal. Im Idealfall ist das also die bessere Veranstaltung. Notes Consulting hat schon angefragt, ob ich in Wien dabei bin. Wir müssen mal schauen, wie sich das rechnet. ;-)

CeBIT 2006 March 9-15 in Hannover

Für mich liegt das dann vom 8. bis 10. März. Am 7. hin und am 11. nach Hause. Danach kommen die Sommerreifen drauf.

Admin&Developer 2006 April 25-26 in Oberhausen

Dieses Jahr war die Admin&Developer Konferenz in München. Nächstes Jahr wird sie in Oberhausen sein. H&T haben mir wieder die Moderation der Konferenz übertragen, die ersten der üblichen Verdächtigen haben sich auch schon als Speaker eingefunden.

DNUG Konferenz May 15-17 in Karlsruhe

Zu dieser Veranstaltung weiß ich noch gar nichts. Aber ich habe sie schon mal vorsorglich im Kalender eingetragen. Dem Vernehmen nach will IBM ja nächstes Jahr wieder zusammen mit der DNUG ein IT-Forum machen. Das wird dann mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit wieder im Duett mit der DNUG-Konferenz sein. Und wie immer wird IBM das dann so spät ankündigen, dass die Veranstaltung vorbei ist, bevor es jemand gemerkt hat. ;-)


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Bildzeitung des Online-Journalismus

by Volker Weber

Zur Ernennung des neuen Chefs von Apple Deutschland schreibt Richard Joerges:

Die Sperrfrist für die Veröffentlichung dieser News lag übrigens heute bei 12.30 Uhr. Erst sollten die Apple-Mitarbeiter unterrichtet werden und dann erst die Öffentlichkeit. Verständlich und von mir akzeptiert. Ganz toll ist, dass Spiegel Online, die Bildzeitung des Online-Journalismus, sich nicht daran gehalten hat und schon weit vor 11 Uhr die News gebracht hat. Apple hat daraufhin die Sperrfrist aufgehoben und die Apple-Mitarbeiter haben aus der Presse erfahren, dass sie einen neuen Chef haben.

Update: Thomas Cloer kommentiert:

Apple hat keine Pressemitteilung herausgegeben heute. Zumindest habe ich keine bekommen. Sie haben wohl was an dpa und Co. rausgelassen, aber über die PR-Agentur oder den Pressesprecher Georg Albrecht kam nichts...

Ohne Pressemitteilung keine Sperrfrist.

[Danke, Beate]

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Joseph Weizenbaum heute in Darmstadt

by Volker Weber

Am 18.10.2005 kommt Prof. Joseph Weizenbaum nach Darmstadt und hält um 18:00 Uhr im Audimax (S101/50) einen Vortrag zum Thema "Gesellschaftliche Auswirkungen der Informatik". Dieser Vortrag findet im Rahmem der Orientierungsphase für die Informatik-Erstsemester statt, aber auch alle anderen sind herzlich willkommen.

Joseph Weizenbaum ist ein bekannter Computer- und Medien-Kritiker. Unter anderem ist er auch der Autor des beruehmten ELIZA-Programms. Ich bin sicher, dass das was er erzählt, gerade für Informatiker, aber auch für andere Menschen interessant ist.

Update: Berichterstattung hier >

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Business travel

by Volker Weber

... stops here.

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Taking SharePoint offline

by Volker Weber

Eric Rucker talks about database features in Access 12 and the reasoning behind them. They are introducing multiple values per field, and do it the proper way through normalizing the tables behind the scene. Interesting:

What it brings to Access is full schema compatibility with Windows SharePoint Services lists. This allows us to take SharePoint list data offline and to provide rich-client UI for SharePoint using Access.

Access shares something with Notes: an MDB, much like a Notes NSF, contains a full application with data and UI and code. So this is how Microsoft wants to make SharePoint available offline. It's not Groove, it's Access.

BTW: As Joel mentions, JET beyond 4.0 will no longer be re-distributable. The customer will need to have Access installed.

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No, the Empire State Building has not gone missing

by Volker Weber

SkylineNewYorkCityTN.jpg

Careful: Huge image.

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Der Pusher

by Volker Weber

Über angebliche Blackberry-Sicherheitslücken wurde schon so viel halbgarer Unsinn erzählt, dass es an der Zeit war, dass sich mal jemand genauer mit der Architektur beschäftigt und die Ergebnisse publiziert:

Kaum ein Gadget erzielte im Kosmos der internationalen Managerszene einen vergleichbaren Erfolg wie der Blackberry PDA der kanadischen Firma Research in Motion (RIM). Einer der Hauptgründe ist seine Fähigkeit, E-Mails direkt per Mobilfunk auf das Display des Geräts zu pushen. Regelmäßige Meldungen über angebliche Sicherheitsprobleme nähren jedoch mittlerweile Bedenken, ob die so übertragenen, sensiblen Daten vor unerwünschten Mitlesern sicher sind. Der Artikel analysiert die dort erhobenen Vorwürfe und geht den angeführten Risiken auf den Grund.

More >

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O2 kann (nach-)machen

by Volker Weber

Lieber Kunde, ab sofort hat Ihr Data-Pack deutlich mehr Inklusiv-Volumen zum selben Preis: mtl. 30 MB statt 10, 200 MB statt 50 und 500 MB statt 150. o2 can do.

Wenn ich das jetzt richtig mitgeschnitten habe, dann vollzieht O2 hier eine Tarifanpassung nach, die E-Plus, T-Mobile und Vodafone schon hinter sich haben.

Wer seine Mails nur mit dem Handy abholt -- also nicht mit dem Handy als Modem am Laptop -- der sollte übrigens mit diesen 30 MB dicke auskommen.

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Blackberry Connect on your Treo 650 "early 2006"

by Volker Weber

bbc

Palm and RIM are announcing BlackBerry Connect on the Treo 650, with availability "early 2006". I think I will have to find out whether I can get my hands on a stable beta. ;-)

I am currently running BBC on the Nokia 9300, and so far I am impressed. However, I expect that RIM will have more difficulties delivering on the Palm than on the Symbian device. Take TomTom as an example. When you are navigating on the Treo and the phone rings, you drop out of navigation to take the call. Then you have to restart TomTom. On the Nokia, you take the call and then you switch back to TomTom, which is still running.

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Kleine Statistik-Frage

by Volker Weber

Wie viele Besucher bringt ein Link auf WWWW, Hal Fabers Kolumne auf heise.de?

More >

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Subtil

by Volker Weber

merkel

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vowe as deputy systems administrator on the Blackberry Internet Service

by Volker Weber

I had to clean out my inboxes on the Blackberry Internet Services, both on Vodafone and on O2. The reason was that during this week some dear friends have sent me funny videos. My FAQ applies:

"I have this really cool video. Do you want it?"

No.

"Why not?"

I probably have received it already a few dozen times.

"But it's really cool. And it's brand new. Never seen it before!"

If you received it by mail, so did I. If you found it on the net, send me a link. Do not send the file.

"I have this really funny Powerpoint file."

[Yawn]

Sorry guys, I love you and I don't want to insult you. But if you have seen them, then I have seen them. Trust me.

Where was I? Ah, Blackberry Internet Service. This thing sucks. Big time. I mean, you need it to activate your device and set a few rules, but the webmail interface? Puleeeeze. Look at the requirements:

Internet Explorer 5.01, 5.5, 6.0 (and higher) or Netscape Communicator 4.08, 4.58 (and higher) with JavaScript activated

Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP or Macintosh OS 9.0 and 10.0

Netscape 4.x? OS 9.0 and 10.0? How about Firefox 1.0.7 and OS X 10.4? There is not a single browser on the Mac that is ancient enough to do a "Select all messages, delete, empty trash" on this thing.

Hey guys, I have wireless reconciliation activated on the service and on the device. When I nuke messages on the device they should be gone for good. And what else can you give me to clean out the junk on that server? A folder rule that will delete messages older than xx days, months and years? You've got to be kidding. How about giving me a rule that says, delete stuff when you run out of space? I don't need messages that tell me you have accumulated more messages then my quota allows. Get rid of it. I have deleted it, so should you. If you can't do that then please give me IMAP access to the mailbox. My client can get rid of the old junk way faster than the sucky web interface.

Feeling much better now. ;-)

vowe.net

Freikarte zur Systems

by Volker Weber

In der c't klebt eine Freikarte für die Systems. Zumindest in der für die Abonnenten. Da ich a) nicht vor habe, dort hinzufahren und b) keine Eintrittskarte brauche, selbst wenn ich hinfahre, kann ich meine gerne verschenken. Also, wer mag sie haben? Spart 28 bis 35 Euro.

Obwohl, ihr habt doch alle die c't abonniert, nicht wahr? ;-)

Update: Die Karte ist weg. Sie geht an Erik. In den Kommentaren werden aber noch weitere angeboten.

vowe.net

Was wird hier beworben?

by Volker Weber

ibook_snap_485.jpg

vowe.net

Yum yum

by Volker Weber

cheese

When Ute returned from her last business trip she brought along a small gift: Wensleydale Abbot's Choice Mature Farmhouse Cheddar. Very tasty, and never to be confused with that. No, there is no Gromit around. ;-)

vowe.net

Per server licensing

by Volker Weber

Andrew has a good question regarding per server licensing:

What if I run one really fast 4 processor machine configured with Linux as the host system and VMWARE hosting 10 virtual windows 2003 servers? Is that one, four, ten, or forty licenses?

Make those processors dual core and you can add eight and eighty to the question. I haven't seen any good answers yet.

vowe.net

Are you getting what you want?

by Volker Weber

I had to LOL when I saw this kid isn't getting what he wants. And that kid is trying to keep something he probably isn't getting any time soon.

vowe.net

Nice try

by Volker Weber

Sony DSC-F828 8.0MP Digital Camera

Your order # 12405 has been accepted for the amount 840.00$
Your card will be charged in that amount .Thank you for your purchase.

You can check the order in your profile.

http://m3nnyslf4.com

Yeah, right.

[You know where to put the E and the A in the URL, right?]

vowe.net

Trouble receiving signed messages over Blackberry Internet Service

by Volker Weber

Last week I found something that does not work on the Blackberry. I was receiving a message from Thomas Lang. The body was empty. I was suspecting that the message was encrypted and that I could not read it, because nobody had the private key, neither the device, nor the mail gateway.

When I checked my mail with Apple Mail, I found that the message was indeed S/MIME, but it was only signed. I was puzzled, since I had received (clear-)signed messages before on the Blackberry without problems. Looking at the raw message source of messages I was able to read, I found this stucture:

--Apple-Mail-6-605332454
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset=US-ASCII;
format=flowed

Test
--Apple-Mail-6-605332454
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Type: application/pkcs7-signature;
name=smime.p7s
Content-Disposition: attachment;
filename=smime.p7s

... big block of junk goes here ...

--Apple-Mail-6-605332454--

As you can see there is a boundary (--Apple-Mail-6-605332454) between the different parts of the message. The first block contains the message itself, the second part contains the signature that I cut out because it is just a big block of base64 code anyway. However, the message from Thomas was different. It was coming in from Notes 7.0 looked like this:

This is an S/MIME signed message.

---------z59229_boundary_sign
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="=_alternative 0022904DC1257093_="

This is a multipart message in MIME format.
--=_alternative 0022904DC1257093_=
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

Test
--=_alternative 0022904DC1257093_=
Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII"

<br><font size=2 face="sans-serif">Test</font>
--=_alternative 0022904DC1257093_=--

---------z59229_boundary_sign
Content-Type: application/x-pkcs7-signature; name="smime.p7s"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="smime.p7s"
Content-Description: S/MIME Cryptographic Signature

... big block of junk goes here ...

---------z59229_boundary_sign--

We tried the same with Notes 6.5, and it uses exactly the same format. I suspect that the Blackberry Internet Service chokes on the two level boundaries. The first one (---------z59229_boundary_sign--) separates the message from the signature, whereas the second one (--=_alternative 0022904DC1257093_=--) separates the two different MIME parts which contain the message as both text and HTML.

Sending the same message to a Blackberry Enterprise Server does not cause any trouble. The BES is able to send a readable message to the client, where the BIS fails.

Does anybody know enough about the two different formats to explain?

vowe.net

Have you ever wondered

by Volker Weber

... what your icons are doing when you leave the computer running and walk away? I haven't, and I'm shocked.

[Thanks, Maik]

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From the "What was I thinking" department

by Volker Weber

You have to help me when I am saying stupid things like this:

There is also no means to mark messages as read/opened other than through actually opening them one by one.

The Blackberry Connect Client does have a feature that will mark your unopened messages as opened, without actually going through all of them. This also resets your new mail indicator. Just mark all messages with Ctrl-A and then hit the menu:

9300markread.png

Now I want a keyboard shortcut. :-)

vowe.net

Dumme Idee des Monats

by Volker Weber

Was macht ein Provider, der Millionen in ein Internet-Portal investiert, das keine Sau interessiert? Er sorgt dafür, dass jeder seiner Kunden nach der Einwahl immer erst einmal dieses Portal angezeigt bekommt, auch wenn er eine ganz andere Seite aufgerufen hat. Und dann versteckt er die umständliche Anleitung, wie man das abschalten kann, ganz tief in den Einstellungen. Und dann freut er sich über den tollen Zuspruch, den sein Portal plötzlich hat. Motto: Traue keiner Statistik, die Du nicht selbst gefälscht hast.

vowe.net

Busy busy

by Volker Weber

I know, I know. Apple has new iPods, new iMacs, you can watch the Steve Show and iTunes is at version 6 now. Pretty neat updates. Apple had the best year ever, but stock is trading below 50 instead of above 55. I was simply too busy to pay attention.

Other things I missed: Palm's brand new Z22 and the TX. The Tungsten and Zire names are being dropped from now on. Well, the Z22 is the first "Zire" that I like since the original came out and the TX is very, very late. This should have been the T5, latest. I haven't seen one yet, but from my experience with the Lifedrive, my guess is that I would advise to get the TX instead and buy an additional 2 gig SD card to up the storage.

vowe.net

Xeon Roasted

by Volker Weber

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TomTom 5 on the Nokia 9300

by Volker Weber

tomtom9300.png

This completes the road warrior: TomTom 5 on the Nokia 9300. Portable navigation? Check. Calendar syncs with iCal? Check. Tasks sync with iCal? Check. Addresses sync with Address Book? Check. Mail gets delivered by Blackberry pushmail? Check. Blackberry can be switched off when roaming? Check. Blackberry can be switched off completely? Check.

Nice touch: It sits nicely on my dashboard and does not need a windshield mount. If you lean it against the windshield, it also does not fall over when the screen is up. I can also put it in front of my stickshift.

And it's all hidden inside a dumb phone that can be operated by your grandma. Hah!

vowe.net

Treo 650 modified

by Volker Weber

Remember the trouble I was having with my Treos #3 and #4, the last one being the worst? I returned it and with a simple hardware modification it no longer rebooted. What did they replace? The SIM tray. There is a new one out there and in the US they started a replacement program for Cingular customers. Compare the trays side by side:

SIM tray oldSIM tray old

I have no information whether Palm also replaces those SIM trays in Germany.

vowe.net

Count to 31 on one hand

by Volker Weber

Some numbers may be offensive. ;-)

[Flash by glassgiant.com]

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Don't miss the fine print

by Volker Weber

Maybe the typical customer needs this warning, because he would otherwise attempt. ;-)

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This just in

by Volker Weber

suse10.jpg

I was surprised when the delivery man brought this package today. I wasn't really expecting anything. The box contained SUSE Linux 10. The package is much smaller than 9.x and it is green and white. I was suspecting the chameleon would turn red when the 9.3 box already started to grow red sides. ;-)

Novell has cut back on the documentation and the packaging. You only get one DVD and 5 CDs in paper sleeves. If you don't need the support you may just as well download the code from the internet. Have not installed it yet, so look somewhere else to see if it is any good.

vowe.net

Dumbed down file sharing in Windows XP

by Volker Weber

Recently I wanted to set up file sharing between three Windows XP notebooks. But I could only enable or disable sharing. There was no way to specify permissions as to who was actually allowed to access the share. As Stefan has found out, Microsoft has disabled this feature by default: "How to disable simplified sharing and set permissions on a shared folder in Windows XP":

By default, simple file sharing is enabled on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer if the computer is not a member of a domain. With simple file sharing, you can share folders with everyone on your workgroup or network and make folders in your user profile private. However, if simple file sharing is enabled, you cannot prevent specific users and groups from accessing your shared folders. If you turn off simple file sharing, you can permit specific users and groups to access a shared folder. Those users must be logged on with the credentials of user accounts that you have granted access to your shared folder.

If simple file sharing is enabled, you see the simple file sharing user interface appears instead of the Security and Sharing tabs. By default, this new user interface is implemented in Windows XP Home Edition and in Microsoft Windows XP Professional if you are working in a workgroup. If you turn off simple file sharing, the classic Security and Sharing tabs appear, and you can specify which users and groups have access to shared folders on your computer.

Now, what is a good place to hide this setting? No, not in Network, not in Sharing, Microsoft has tugged it away in Tools/Folder Options/View/Advanced:

  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  3. In the Advanced Settings section, clear the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box.
  4. Click OK.

Microsoft recommends to disable permissions. That would be too secure, eh?

vowe.net

Blackberry Connect on the Nokia 9300

by Volker Weber

bb9300.png

Installation was a breeze. It ties directly into the Messages application as another plugin. Without having used it for more than a few minutes, I can already spot one advantage: "Allow Service While Roaming". This probably means you can switch your BB service off when abroad, saving you GPRS roaming charges.

After having used the Blackberry service on the 9300 now for one day, I have a few things to say. The software blends right into the Symbian interface. Everything works exactly as expected. In folder view, you only get to see three messages, but when you open the folder you get six, as on a Blackberry 7290. YMMV depending on font size which can be changed on both devices. The Nokia device is much slower when opening messages, and you need to operate it with two hands. On the Blackberry device there is a better integration. The Nokia for instance lacks the ability to initiate a phone call to the sender when reading a mail message. This seems to be a rather big oversight, since you may often want to call back somebody. There is also no means to mark messages as read/opened other than through actually opening them one by one. On the 7290 you select a number of messages and then pick "Mark opened" from the scroll wheel menu.

Even with these shortcomings, I do like the Blackberry service on the 9300. On the outer display you get two additional indicators: B and @. B means you are connected to the data center and @ means you have unread mail waiting. When you receive new mail the software will beep and you can select the sound and volume for each profile, all from a single screen. On the internal screen you get the same indicators. See the @ in the screenshot above.

As stated before, the 9300 has no vibrate, so you won't catch every incoming email while you have put away the phone on your belt. This might actually make it less addictive than the standard Crackberry. Which is a good thing. ;-)

One important consideration for selecting a Blackberry provider in Germany: I have been told that O2 Germany does not have GPRS roaming with T-Mobile Germany. This is b/s. I had not been told that GPRS does not work. I had been told Blackberry would not work when roaming in the T-Mobile-D network. Which is also wrong. Blackberry works just fine, no matter in which network you are. I think I have some important feedback for my vendor. ;-)

vowe.net

Silent update for IBM Lotus Domino 7

by Volker Weber

IBM has issued a silent update for Domino 7. Let's compare the Linux/Intel version. The old file was c86isna.tar the new one is c86wsna.tar. Comparing MD5 checksums of all files within the archives renders this message:

./fg0/setup.exe: FAILED
./fg27/NetscapeDOLSPlugin_linuxff.xpi: FAILED
./fg27/NetscapeDOLSPlugin_linux32.xpi: FAILED
./fg90/stlinks.cab: FAILED
./fg90/stlinks.jar: FAILED

Setup.exe is IBM Lotus Domino Access for Outlook Setup, the others are Domino Offline Services and Sametime Links.

Here is a list of updated Domino downloads:

IBM Lotus Domino Server 7.0 for z/OS V1R5 English Oct-03-2005
IBM Lotus Domino Server 7.0 for SUSE Linux on zSeries Enterprise Server English Oct-03-2005
IBM Lotus Domino Server 7.0 for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, 9 (x86) English Oct-03-2005
IBM Lotus Domino Server 7.0 for Solaris 9 English Oct-03-2005
IBM Lotus Domino Server 7.0 for AIX 5.2, 5.3 English Oct-03-2005
IBM Lotus Domino Server 7.0 for Windows 2000, 2003 English Oct-03-2005

[Thanks, Sascha]

vowe.net

CONET AG insolvent

by Volker Weber

Amtsgericht Bonn, Aktenzeichen: 99 IN 338/05

In dem Insolvenzeröffnungsverfahren über das Vermögen

der im Handelsregister des Amtsgerichts Siegburg unter HRB 5363 eingetragenen CONET AG, Theodor-Heuss-Allee 19, 53773 Hennef/Sieg, vertreten durch den Vorstand Rüdiger Zeyen, Jürgen Zender und Wilfried Pütz

Geschäftszweig: IT- und Organisationsberatung, Softwareentwicklung etc.

ist am 06.10.2005, um 11:30 Uhr angeordnet worden (§§ 21, 22 InsO):

Zum vorläufigen Insolvenzverwalter wird Rechtsanwalt Dr. Biner Bähr, Jägerhofstraße 29, 40479 Düsseldorf bestellt.

Die am 1. April 2004 gegründete Tochter daGama Business Travel GmbH ist ebenfalls insolvent.

Vor einem Monat gab es wohl eine kleine Rochade:

... ungewöhnliche Umstände erfordern manchmal unkonventionelle Mittel und Wege. Daher kontaktieren wir, die CONET Solutions GmbH, Sie auf diesem Wege. Mit Wirkung zum 01.09.2005 haben wir das Stammgeschäft ausgegründet und - mit Zustimmung unserer Kunden - die laufenden Verträge von der CONET AG übernommen.

Heute müssen wir Ihnen mitteilen, dass die CONET AG bedauerlicherweise einen Antrag auf Eröffnung eines Insolvenzverfahrens stellen musste. Nähere Informationen dazu haben wir für Sie in dem beigefügten Schreiben zusammengefasst.

Die CONET Solutions GmbH ist von dieser Insolvenz NICHT betroffen. Die Leistungserbringung für Sie ist gesichert, da die für Sie zuständigen Personen ebenfalls ab dem 01.09.2005 Mitarbeiter der CONET Solutions GmbH geworden sind.

Wir als CONET Solutions GmbH stehen Ihnen somit unbeeinflusst von dieser Entwicklung als verlässlicher und starker Partner weiterhin zur Verfügung.

Für Ihre Fragen stehen Ihnen sowohl die Geschäftsführung der CONET Solutions GmbH als auch Ihre bisherigen Ansprechpartner zur Verfügung.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Wilfried Pütz, Jürgen Zender, Rüdiger Zeyen
CONET Solutions GmbH
Geschäftsführung

Auch eine Art, seine Aktionäre loszuwerden.

More >

vowe.net

Ein Subject, maßgeschneidert für den Spamfilter

by Volker Weber

+++ Sexy Produkte, scharfe Funktionen, heiße Gespräche und kalte Getränke bekommen Sie von InQuiero auf der Systems 2005 in München geboten +++
vowe.net

Anybody else hearing voices?

by Volker Weber

It was 1980 when the Blues Brothers were on a mission from God. Now it's only one with the finger on the trigger. And he is hearing voices, according to the BBC:

Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

Kinda reminds me of this:

A cat burglar is going about his business burgling a house. He stops every so often when he hears a voice saying: 'Jesus is watching you. Jesus will get you.' He moves to another room and hears the voice again: 'Jesus is watching you. Jesus will get you.' He turns the light on and sees a parrot in the corner of the room. 'Is that you?' he says, 'saying Jesus is watching you, Jesus will get you?' The parrot says, 'Yes, of course.' The burglar says, ' What's your name?' The parrot replies, 'Clarence.' The burglar shrieks, 'Clarence? What kind of idiot gives a bird a stupid name like Clarence?' And the bird replies, 'The same idiot that called that rottweiler over there Jesus!'

[Thanks, Richard]

vowe.net

Wie teuer ist eigentlich das kostenlose Telefonieren?

by Volker Weber

T-Online kündigt laut heise online eine DSL-Flatrate mit VoIP-Flatrate an. Damit kann man dann soviel man mag im deutschen Festnetz herumtelefonieren (mit den üblichen Ausnahmen). Kosten soll das 30 Euro/Monat (minus ein paar ct). Halt, da fehlt noch DSL, und dazu noch ein Telefonanschluss, ohne den man kein DSL kriegt. Schauen wir mal ins Kleingedruckte:

Die Vorteile des Tarifs gelten nur in Verbindung mit einem T-DSL Anschluss. T-DSL ist in vielen Anschlussbereichen verfügbar. Es entstehen weitere Kosten. Bei Nutzung über Analog-Modem oder ISDN fallen bei Einwahl über die Zugangsnummer 0191011 grundsätzlich 1,59 Cent/Min. Nutzungsentgelt an. Nach ca. 24 Stunden ununterbrochener Nutzung erfolgt ein Abbruch der Verbindung. Eine sofortige Wiedereinwahl ist möglich. Mindestvertragslaufzeit 12 Monate, automatische Verlängerung um jeweils weitere 12 Monate, sofern keine fristgerechte Kündigung mindestens 20 Werktage vor Ablauf der Vertragslaufzeit schriftlich eingeht.

Wow. 12 Monate, und dann wieder automatisch 12 Monate, wenn nicht rechtzeitig gekündigt. Das nenne ich Kundenbindung. Dazu noch der T-DSL-Anschluß:

T-DSL 1000 für 16,99 €/Monat. T-DSL 2000 für 19,99 €/Monat. T-DSL 6000 für 24,99 €/Monat.

Sagen wir mal 17 Euro. Dazu noch der normale Telefonanschluss. Ich bin jetzt zu faul zum Suchen, aber darf mal annehmen, das kostet dann summa summarum nicht weniger als 60 Euro. Für genau 60 (minus ein paar ct) gibt es bei Arcor eine Telefonflat über ISDN. Plus DSL 6000 und Internet flat.

Zum Vergleich: Für 25 Euro kann man bei Base soviel man will ins Netz von E-Plus und ins Festnetz telefonieren. Ohne Internet, aber auch ohne Schnur. Bei O2 kriegt man für 10 Euro Genion, dazu für 10 Euro eine Flatrate ins O2-Netz und ins Festnetz. Geht nur von zu Hause (plus lange Leine außenrum), ist dafür aber billig anzurufen über die Festnetznummer. Unterwegs dann die normalen Handytarife.

vowe.net

Always know where your towel is

by Volker Weber

Today I went to the Notes Domino 7 lunch, err, launch in Frankfurt. And it was much better than expected. 2 hours talk, 2 hour lunch break, another 2 hours talk. It was quite full, around 250 people in the audience. Well done. Excellent lunch, err, launch.

No cheap keyring this time. Cheap inflatable pseudo boxing gloves instead. I got a blue IBM towel. That's useful. :-)

vowe.net

Branding is the hardest part

by Volker Weber

This name sounds like a not so good idea for a financial paper.

[Thanks, Jörg]

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Must. See.

by Volker Weber

This. Presentation.

[via Ben]

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Lotus Dino

by Volker Weber

lotusdino.jpg

Dinos did not play well for Microsoft. IBM gives them a second chance.

[Thanks, Ralf]

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In case you ever wondered

by Volker Weber

... where all the R5 paraphernalia went: Carl has them.

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Just testing

by Volker Weber

Posting from Blackberry should work.

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Mit Sicherheit

by Volker Weber

Die WirtschaftsWoche treibt eine alte Sau durch's Dorf, diesmal aufgeweckt durch eine interne Studie des BSI: Sicherheitslücken beim Blackberry. Heise security steigt ein, Spiegel Online auch.

Ich mag nicht so recht beurteilen, inwieweit man sich durch ein Rechenzentrum, das nicht auf teutschem Poden steht, mehr den Geheimdiensten ausliefert als InDULa. Was mich aber sehr wundert ist: Die allermeisten E-Mails (five nines) in meiner Inbox sind unverschlüsselt. Die halbe Exchange-Kundschaft, die wegen Sicherheitsbedenken keinen externen Zugriff auf ihre 5.5er-Landschaft erlauben kann, leitet die Eingangspost nach GMX und Konsorten. In jeder Flughafenwartehalle sitzen Manager, die ihre Post völlig unverschlüsselt mit Klartext-Passwort von ihrer POP-Box über offenes WLAN abholen.

Der Blackberry hat womöglich Sicherheitslücken. Das impliziert, dass es neben den Lücken noch was gibt, von dem Otto Normalmailer allenfalls mal gehört hat: Sicherheit.

Update: Mittlerweile liegt eine Stellungnahme von RIM vor:

More >

vowe.net

Crackberry, part 1

by Volker Weber

Today was the day that vowe got his first shot of Blackberry. And the addiction is already building up.

Blackberry 7290I have received the Blackberry 7290 courtesy of Marco Föllmer, founder and CEO of ebf, a consultancy based in Köln (Cologne), IBM Premium Partner as well as RIM Goldpartner. I am using it with a Vodafone chip that is data only. So it is not replacing my phone — for now. I have also updated the software of my Nokia 9300 today to version 5.22 in order to make it ready for Blackberry Connect. I am really looking forward to compare a Blackberry device to a Smartphone with the Blackberry software. And from what I have seen today this might be an easy win for the Blackberry device. But let me start at the beginning:

The 7290 is the latest of the 7200 series. More memory, bluetooth (think: headset), but the signature body of a Blackberry. There is also the 7100 series which looks more like a regular mobile phone. But I specifically wanted a 7200 series devices. It has crushed many of the beliefs I had about Blackberry. First of all: The phone does not suck. :-) And yes, there is software available. I have already installed a blog client, an instant messenger, a Bloglines client to fetch my RSS feeds, a Today screen, a mobile weather report and a stock ticker. Things have definitely changed in 2005.

There are a few challenges to get this machine up and running, especially if you don't use a PC and you are not running the device in a corporate setup. After you insert the SIM card and the battery, the Blackberry boots and dumps you on the home screen. What next? Hmmh. Switch on radio. Network connection is there, but how do I set up my account? The Getting Started manual does not really help. Enterprise Activation is also not what I am looking for. I decide to visit www.mobileemail.vodafone.de. Bingo. You can sign up there. You need your PIN (this is an ID which identifies the Blackberry) and your IMEI (same thing for phone). The server will let you chose a login (which becomes your email address @mobileemail.vodafone.de) and password. Once you have registered, the server sends you Service Books which contain all the settings for the different services in your device. Voila, over the air configuration!

Then you need to log into the server again to set your options and your profile. I left the FROM address at this new email address but set a REPLY-TO to my regular email. I also changed the signature that gets appended to all messages and I told the server to BCC all outgoing messages to my regular email. I don't need to poll my regular mail, since I told my server to redirect (and leave a copy of) all incoming messages to the Blackberry account. I also added another rule at my server to put the BCCed outgoing messages into my sent folder and not to redirect them to the BB. Don't want to hear an echo. :-) So this is the incoming pipeline:

  1. Mail gets delivered to my ISP
  2. Collax server fetches mail
  3. Spam and virus filters kick in
  4. Cleansed messages hit server-based rule
  5. One copy goes to the IMAP box, a second copy goes to Vodafone

And for outgoing messages:

  1. Blackberry sends message to Vodafone
  2. Vodafone delivers mail and sends BCC to my ISP
  3. Collax server fetches mail
  4. BCC message clears spam and virus filters
  5. Message hits server-based rule, which puts it away in my sent mail

So far everything is working perfectly. Now for the other applications. Marco recommended Ramble, which connects to AIM only. There is also Verichat, which connects to multiple networks, but I am pretty happy with Ramble. I installed the BBToday screen over the air from this location. There is also BBLight, which lets you control the behaviour of the backlight and BBWeather for ... you get it. Azure is my blog client, which I also installed over the air. Other than on the Treo I did not first have to install a Java engine, since the 7290 is already Java-enabled. Finally I installed Berry Bloglines.

While the installation was quite easy, I hit one road block. Berry Bloglines worked, but Azure and Ramble did not. Until I set the APN in Options/TCP to web.vodafone.de (no user and password). I also needed to switch off the 7290 once to clean up the mess that I had created while playing with different parameters. I am still having some issues that have not been sorted out between using wap.vodafone.de and web.vodafone.de.

I have not looked at the off the shelf applications at lot. From briefly checking out Address Book and Calendar I can say that Address Book is OK and Calendar sucks big time. I also have to say that the Blackberry device feels very solid and it will probably survive a 6 ft drop on concrete completely unfazed. I would not dare to say this about a Treo 650 or a Nokia 9300.

[To be continued]

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Meta updating

by Volker Weber

vowe.net

It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber

dog

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Google and Sun. What does it mean?

by Volker Weber

Everybody is talking about Google going with Sun against Microsoft, but nobody has really figured out what they are doing. The news today is somewhat of a non-event. Google will be distributing the Java VM with the Google searchbar. What does that mean for Sun, and what does it mean for Google?

Sun is easy. They were in desperate need of a distribution mechanism for the JVM for a long time. You may remember the fight they had with MS over the outdated JVM that MS was delivering with IE. Of course MS did not want to make an up-to-date Java engine available. It contradicts everything they plan to do. Now Google helps Sun to get the machine on every desktop that Google delivers to. A big win.

Google is harder to explain. Do you know what IBM is trying to do with Workplace? This will get awfully close to what IBM wants to deliver. A look into my crystal ball says: One of the elements will be OpenOffice components running on top of a JVM. IBM has them, and Google will have them too. The difference: Google will provide the servers and the storage. You will be able to use Google to search all your documents along with your email and your instant messages.

A zero-touch desktop which runs off of Google's servers. Without the IBM middleware stack. Now take this a little bit further by adding VoIP services and whatever else you can dream up in computing as a service. Neat, eh?

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Genial

by Volker Weber


Armin Maiwald, Sendung mit der Maus

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Newsgator is buying NetNewsWire

by Volker Weber

Newsgator is continuing to build its empire. After having acquired FeedDemon, which many consider to be the best Windows RSS reader, they are now buying NetNewsWire, which according to my site statistics is the most popular RSS reader bar none. Although it is only available on the Mac.

Brent Simmons, the man who wrote NetnewsWire, is certainly one of the best interface designer for the Mac. His software does not waste a pixel of screen estate and it looks as pretty as it is functional. Read the FAQ to understand Newsgator's masterplan. It is all folded into a subscription service with clients for all plattforms.

Having said that, I recently came across an open source RSS reader for the Mac that I also like a lot:

Vienna is a freeware, open source RSS/Atom reader for the Mac OSX operating system. It provides features comparable to commercial newsreaders but it is both it and the source code are freely available for download.

As of the time of writing, Vienna is a beta release with the final version scheduled before the end of the year. The second beta is fully functional and stable, and is ready for download now.

More >

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Surprise, surprise

by Volker Weber

surprise

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Studierende

by Volker Weber

Dieses Wort ist mir anlässlich einer Feierstunde an der hiesigen Universität erstmals aufgefallen. Aus einer Samsung Pressemitteilung:

Rechtzeitig zum Semesterbeginn: exklusives Notebook-Sondermodell X20 für Studenten – konfiguriert von Studenten

Das Samsung X20 Notebook ist mehr als ein Geheimtipp unter Studierenden. ...

Zweimal richtig, und dann gleitet die Meldung ab in verschwurbeltes Gutmenschich. Der Student ist halt immer Student, aber nur Studierender während der Ausübung selbigens. Sonst ist er zum Bespiel Frühstückender, Dösender, Essender, Scheißender usw. Ja, liebe Kommilitoninnen und Kommilitonen, anders ist nicht unbedingt besser.

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Beautiful

by Volker Weber

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What's cooking?

by Volker Weber

Sun is holding a joint press conference with Google at 10:30 PST (19:30 CEST). Lots of speculations:

Mesdames, messieurs, faites vous jeux.

Update: Google will make Sun stuff available, that has been available before (Java, OpenOffice).

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Mixed Tape 09 is out

by Volker Weber

mixedtape09.jpg

15 free MP3 tracks from Alice Russell, B.L.S., Back2Square1, Cidequa, Data Mc, Digital Midgets, E-The-Hot Feat. Lil'nova, Ect & Kay Suzuki, Esc Feat. Vin Landers, Fujah, Goya-Project, Multiple Exposure, Simon Hectic With John Biggs, Sleeve Channel, Talc.

More >

[via Manfred]

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Egosurfing

by Volker Weber

#1 of about 487,000 for vowe
#1 of about 8,150,000 for volker
#7 of about 32,500,000 for weber

We are working on it. ;-)

[All results for google.com]

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Roaming with the Blackberry

by Volker Weber

Need a reason not to buy a Blackberry? Simple. You can't switch the damn thing off. I mean, yes, you can switch the radio off, but then you can't receive phone calls. When the radio is on, you are also receiving mails. Why would you want to not receive mails? The biggest reason is money. When you are travelling abroad and you have to roam in a different network, you will be fleeced. That's even true if you are staying within the same company, like Vodafone-UK and Vodafone-DE, or T-Mobile-US, T-Mobile-UK and T-Mobile-DE. If you are in that other network, you want the GPRS off and GSM on. So you can make and receive calls as well as SMS, but not be charged for GPRS traffic. Spain is especially bad with their data tariffs.

The RIM people aren't stupid. Of course they could make the device switch off GPRS traffic. The customers also want it. It's the carriers who don't want that. They want you to spend money. So the carriers force RIM to not include that capability. And it is one of those downsides you hardly ever read in reviews.

What can you do? Juggle SIM cards. Just put your Blackberry SIM into a dumb phone and you are fine. Phone calls work, email doesn't. When you are back in your own network, put the SIM back into the Blackberry.

[Thanks, Frank for pointing me to this feature gap]

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Consider yourself warned

by Volker Weber

Now that is a bold statement.

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Getting ready for the Blackberry

by Volker Weber

Yesterday I made some preparations to support the upcoming Blackberry device. Let me explain what I have learned so far.

There are two ways to support Blackberry devices. One involves running your own Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), the other is to use Blackberry Internet Service (BIS, formerly known as BlackBerry Web Client).

Blackberry 7290BES runs on its own machine in your data center and talks to one of three servers: IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange and more recently Novell Groupwise. BES will monitor your inboxes and push incoming mail, calendar events or tasks to the device. The device is a bit more lazy pushing back your changes, for instance when you put away an email into a folder and such. In any case, BES is the preferred way of running Blackberry devices, but you will need a separate box and you need to license the operating system and the BES software. I certainly don't want to do either, and I also do not host my email on Domino anymore.

BIS will give you a separate email account for your Blackberry device and you need to make sure that your regular email gets there. The software allows you to pick up email from POP mailboxes. It does so every 15 minutes, which is way too long for "instant" push mail. If it finds email, it will ask again 3 minutes later. Thus busy mailboxes will be polled more frequently. Be careful though, since some providers don't like it if you poll their server more often than every five minutes. Having said that, there is a much smarter way to get your email to BIS. With GMail for instance you can ask to have all mails forwarded to another mail account, so you should set this to your BIS account.

I was looking for my Collax server to do the same, and was already preparing for some serious hacks with a list server, until I found a much simpler way. You just go to the Squirrelmail webmail interface and define server-based rules. I put in a new rule to redirect (not forward) all incoming mails to the BIS account and leave a copy in the inbox. As soon as the message hits BIS, it gets pushed to the Blackberry. So this is my pipeline now:

  1. Mail gets delivered to my ISP
  2. Collax server fetches mail
  3. Spam and virus filters kick in
  4. Cleansed messages hit server-based rule
  5. One copy goes to the IMAP box, a second copy goes to BIS

Step 2 happens only every 5 minutes. The alternative would be to have my ISP push the mail to my Collax server, but I prefer to have my ISP provide for a reliable infrastructure over doing it myself. Of course I could also redirect mail directly at the ISP but then it would not be filtered and I would end up with a lot of junk on the Blackberry.

I still have to see what happens exactly when you answer your email. Since the messages gets redirected instead of being forwarded, it will still have the original FROM and TO headers. This way I can simply hit Reply and it will be addressed to the original sender. It will then get pushed back to the BIS server and be delivered from there, but I need to see what you can do in terms of FROM addresses. At least you can set a REPLY-TO address without a problem, so the answer to that mail goes through the original pipeline instead of directly into the BIS. I will also need to BCC myself on outgoing messages and then set up a server-based rule to put those messages into my Sent folder.

With BIS, your Blackberry will only do email. There is no way to put your mail into server-side folders — which I don't do anyway besides moving it out of the inbox — and you can't sync calendars and tasks over the air. Calendars, tasks, addresses need to be synced directly with your computer, not with your server. RIM gives you a PC software to do that. On the Mac I need to roll my own, and Tim Goggin of PocketMac just sent me an NFR copy of PocketMac Blackberry, which seems to be the only solution on the Mac today. You will hear more about it throughout the week. I guess I am all set to get rolling.

vowe.net

Copycat

by Volker Weber

Hi,

I found your weblog and noticed that someone with your name and also based in Germany works for IBM. If so, would you be interested I added to this list of IBM blogs?

http://torrez.us/archives/2005/08/29/387

Let me know, thanks.

Elias

What? OK, let's look it up:

ibook_snap_483.png

No, that is not me. It's actually easy to spot. I would have chosen a different mail address. Besides, he is the guy wearing a tie. :-)

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Scotland

by Volker Weber

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Blackberry 7290 coming up

by Volker Weber

Blackberry 7290

It looks like there is a Blackberry 7290 coming up at vowe's magic flying circus. I really wonder how well this will play compared to my other devices like the Treo 650, the Nokias 9300 or 6630. Apple apparently does not sync the Blackberry through iSync, but Marco told me about PocketMac Blackberry. Is this the only game in town? What is your experience?

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How many bullets?

by Volker Weber

How many bullets do US forces need for every insurgent killed? Make a wild guess. Multiply by 100. Then look up the number. How did you do?

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Blogging as a marketing tool

by Volker Weber

Roger Signer studies at the University of Zurich and is preparing a thesis on Blogging as a Martketing Tool. While I would suggest that blogs as marketing tools are evil, I don't think research is evil. ;-) You can help Roger by filling out this questionaire.

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This is indeed a good phone

by Volker Weber

Andrew Orlowski of the Register likes the Nokia 9300 as much as I do:

The 9300 takes some pretty forbidding technology and puts in a very discreet and unassuming package. Businesses may appreciate the lack of a camera, and while it doesn't really shine as a multimedia cache, the calendar and messaging applications are well-lived in and like the machine itself, rock solid. The software portfolio isn't as rich as for Palm and Microsoft, but it is well supported by enterprises, particularly IBM. But it's the first device to be a Nokia quality phone with genuine BlackBerry software, a combination a long time a coming.

Today's smartphones try to do too much, most of it not very well, but the 9300 does three things very well indeed: phone calls, messaging, and an alarm clock you can rely on

How is that? Blackberry service with a real phone? ;-)

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Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

vowe

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